What is a Vision Quest or Vision Fast?

A vision quest or vision fast is a time where we step away from what we know and choose to embark on a new way. We place ourselves in a wild place, away from distractions and old habits, to spend time alone yet with and in nature.

We step away from what we know and choose to embark on a new way.

For 4 days and nights we are without food and have little shelter. What gets us through, is our intention. This new way or intention of wanting to be or live. This is a bringing us closer to the essence of who we actually are. Our true self. With nothing to lean on except the true spirit of ourselves and our experiences of the ‘spirit of nature’ whilst out there. We emerge from this space more guided, more focused. We begin to see – we have vision.

In our modern lives we rarely place ourselves in such circumstances so as to receive vision. As such we remain doing, thinking, feeling and being the same as we have always been. Yet there are times when doing what was the old way, the way we know how to do life, simply doesn’t get us through anymore. A vision quest in this regard is an initiatory experience, where change occurs as a result of time spent in nature.

Such initiations have been documented in most countries and today still happen within many cultures. As a rites of passage – they mark something, for example the coming of age into adulthood, the severance of an old relationship or the acknowledgement of new beginnings. Times of change can bring us to these points without conscious choice. Such as a death of a loved one, redundancy, separation or ill health. However, we can also consciously choose to become more of who we are and how we wish to live. It may be that we go ‘out there’ to find out what is actually on the inside of us.

Vision Quest is shedding light on your life

Vision quest as a rite of passage

A vision fast is always marking a passing. Something that has had it’s time is going or been. Something new wants or needs to be born, a difference is coming. This extra-ordinary time, allows you to be open to those endings and new beginnings.

Embarking on a vision quest can show you a way

A relationship has ended
A major change in your life has happened or is imminent
A phase of your life is ending (being single, parenthood, retirement…)
A loss has occurred (death, separation)
You don’t want to live other peoples expectations, but find your own life
You want to face your fears and begin to feel strong
You feel stuck – something needs to change, but what or how?
You feel lost, don’t know where you’re going
You want to find out why you’re really here

The list is endless and a vision quest could be your way forward.

Time all for yourself on a vision fast

Vision Quest – How does it work?

The overall process – the ceremony, takes about 10 days. Each fast has three phases:

severance‘, the preparing to sever yourself from your former world
the ‘threshold‘, a crossing over of the previous limitations of your life and embarking on the ‘test’
and finally ‘incorporation‘, the return from the journey and the bringing back within yourself your ‘vision’.

Getting Ready

To get you ready for going out to your spot in nature there are preparation days. During those days you will be heard. Guided and supported, utilising the Way of Council and the Four Shields teachings from the School of Lost Borders. This is to help you focus on why it is that you have come and are going out there. You will find your own personal spot of land to spend your time away in nature.

Going out

Then the day comes when you will be parting from the group and from your old life. At dawn you’ll be crossing the threshold and you will heading out to your place. There you will meet yourself and spend time with nature. This is the testing time.

Bringing it home

On your return from the time on the land, we will hear your story and prepare you to return to your life and your community. We hear and reflect back your experience – your vision – assisting you to begin to incorporate (literally: bring it into your body) what you found into your own life. This is a process that will continue on long after you have returned home from your vision quest.

Incorporation with Wild and Home

Vanessa speaks about her vision quest

Incorporation continues long after your return home. In our experience it is this part of the quest that can be challenging. Making your experience matter, being rooted in your life and making the vision and changes stick. We will spend time introducing you to incorporation and give space for you to begin to discover what that could mean and how to start. To assist you as you go forward, we create and offer ways and practices that you can use and work with. At the time of quest, after we have heard all the stories we will also participate in a ceremony of Incorporation. Both as an individual and as a group we will create a structure to hold you as you go back to your communities and loved ones.

In addition we offer a chance to gather once again, 3 months and 1 year after your quest. At 3 months this will be an online group. At one year, the circle will be at an venue with an overnight stay. We will share details of this invitation at the quest itself.

To participate on a vision fast does then take some courage, surprisingly though not much. The experience once had, has the power to transform, even transmute.

It can also be a calling. Asking us to contribute a wider and deeper us to the world. The world wants and needs to see, know and hear who you are.

If you are interested or stirred please contact us and we will ask of you for your Letter of Intent, stating how and why you have come to this point. The more preparation time you give yourself, the more revelationary and potent the ceremony will be.

Ready? Our next vision quest is on Dartmoor from August 12–22, 2021 in England. If you’re interested, please read more here.